darkening a bay's coat? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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darkening a bay's coat?

Hi everyone! :)

I have a light bay gelding and I'd like to darken up his coat. He has a very prominent dorsal stripe and dapples.

Any suggestions on a supplement? I'd prefer a natural one and one that doesn't cost and arm and a leg!

I've done a bit of research and things like turmeric and linseed come up a lot... anyone ever tried these before? Do they have any effect?

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 11:21 AM
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There are supplements out there but most darkening supplements contain paprika and/or capsacin which is illegal in recognized competition. I used one called SmartDark and Handsome from SmartDark & Handsome™ - Horse Coat Enhancer - Supplements from SmartPak Equine.

The particular horse I had I had only ridden in training shows..he never got to a level to go to a recognized show but all I would have had to do, if I remember correctly, was take him off the supplement for something like a month and no drug screen would pull it. Here....see the difference from one summer to the next..the horse was a dark bay:

Last edited by tlkng1; 07-19-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 11:36 AM
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Sorry...missed the edit time frame..these two shots are of his early summer starting to bleach out and his winter, I just rolled in the mud and had a grand time, darker coat look. The pic in the previous post with him very dark was taken the following summer..he had been on the supplement for about 4 months at that point. So, in order, the starting to bleach, the full bleach, the back to normal fall and then the summer dark.
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File Type: jpg Linus May.jpg (72.1 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg Linus bleached.jpg (74.5 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg Linus Fall.jpg (96.7 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg Linus.jpg (22.3 KB, 123 views)
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 12:01 PM
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The main ingredient in any color enhancer is usually paprika. I buy paprika in bulk (I get it from the Amish, so it comes in a 10 lb bag) and feed one tablespoon a day. It's far cheaper than buying little containers of paprika every week or so, lol! In several months, you'll DEFINITELY see results! My mare is black, and although the paprika hasn't completely kept her from fading in the sun this summer, she is far darker than she was last summer without it.
I also feed two tablespoons of whole flax seed per day to keep their hair shiny. You can feed more if you wish. Some people feed a cup a day. I don't feed her ground flax seed, since it can spoil easily if not used all at once. Horses digest whole flax seed just as well.
When I took my mare to a trainer, to learn to drive, he took one look at her silky black coat and said, "Oh. She's been blanketed. Do we need to do that too?" It took a lot of convincing to get him to believe that she's never been blanketed! Too bad I don't have any good before and after pictures for you! Paprika and flax seed DO work though, and are a lot cheaper than buying a specific supplement. (And you'll notice that the SmartPak enhancer that a previous poster referred to contains- tada!- paprika.)
Paprika works to bring out the natural color of the coat, while flax seed keeps it smooth and shiny (or so I've found). It won't change your horse's color, just enhance it.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 12:06 PM
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I love Dark as Knight! You can get it in Smart Paks so it isn't real expensive. They make a show formula that you can switch to if you're worried about that.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 12:42 PM
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Ok not to hijack your thread, but could this sort of thing also be used to darken the mane/tail/dark points of a buckskin?? Mine is always bleaching out, especially her tail :/

OP, your horse is SO handsome by the way! :)

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
Ok not to hijack your thread, but could this sort of thing also be used to darken the mane/tail/dark points of a buckskin?? Mine is always bleaching out, especially her tail :/

OP, your horse is SO handsome by the way! :)
Yes, at least the Dark as Knight will help protect against sun damage. For my show horses, I keep them in during the day and out in the evening/night and I bag their tails.

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post #8 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Yes, at least the Dark as Knight will help protect against sun damage. For my show horses, I keep them in during the day and out in the evening/night and I bag their tails.
Thanks! I bag her tail too, but that leaves the top sticking out, which is the part that gets sun bleached the worst...a nice burnt orange color

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
Thanks! I bag her tail too, but that leaves the top sticking out, which is the part that gets sun bleached the worst...a nice burnt orange color
You can use a foam in hair color to blacken her tail while you wait for the BAK to work from the inside out. Usually 6 weeks or so. But at least you can have a black tail til then.

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post #10 of 15 Old 07-19-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
You can use a foam in hair color to blacken her tail while you wait for the BAK to work from the inside out. Usually 6 weeks or so. But at least you can have a black tail til then.
yeah I've definitely done that! Works well temporarily BUT it's a HUGE pain to do when you don't want ANY of the dye to touch your CREAM COLORED horse!! I need like 3 helpers - 1 to hold a towel around her tail, me putting the dye on, and another to be ready to wipe if it DOES get on anything

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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